The opening game of the 2005 Bartercard Cup season at North Harbour Stadium was not a show piece of Rugby League
It was anything but, as the North Harbour Tigers strolled over the Counties Manukau Jetz to the tune of 54 points to nil. The first 9 minutes of the game was a case of both teams testing each other out, arm wrestling. The Jetz, however kept popping up the ball. Just before 10 minutes in, North Harbour scored through full-back, Khamal Ganley, following some good running and passing from stand-off, Jeremy Golf, who was able to put speedy winger, Tui Samoa into good open space, to make the yards and flick the ball to his number 1 to score. Five minutes later, loosie, Daniel Vasau, danced through non existent defence and scored. Just over half way through the first half, hooker, Dwayne Glasgow, scored from dummy following a penalty on the line. Two minutes later Tui Samoa motored down the left flank and sent centre, Ricky Henry in for one. With three minutes left in the half, Khamal Ganley caught the ball from an awry chip kick in his own in-goal and scarpered away for a trade mark, solo, 100 metre effort. Kicker, half-back, Jared Trott was having a good night with the boot and 28/0 brought up half time.
The Counties Manukau Jetz had been disinterested on defence, disorganised on attack and ill disciplined at times. They were not completing their sets and, to be honest, they didn't look like they had played together before. The second half was not going to offer any improvement.
Early in and Jeremy Golf scampered through to force the ball from a chip through. Trott converted and it's 34/0. Winger, Tui Samoa, then proceeded to score a hat trick of tries to make it 50 blot. A second try to number 13, Daniel Vasau, saw the hooter mercifully blow with the score board showing 54/0.
I'm being extremely kind when I suggest the Jetz had an 10% completion rate. They have a very, very long way to go if they are going to be competitive in this competition. The Bartercard Cup has often been criticised for not being of a high enough standard to feed the local NRL team and after watching games like this, I find it difficult to argue with that particular perspective. I think the Tigers went ok, but it was difficult to tell in a game like this, they were never tested.